Hey everyone! I’m really excited to have Lisa Maxwell, author of Unhooked (February 2, 2016, Simon Pulse) here for an interview! I LOVE retellings, so I’m VERY excited for Unhooked and thrilled to have Lisa here today! First, here’s more about the book:
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
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And now for the interview! Enjoy!!
Question: Congratulations! Unhooked just published! What have the last few weeks been like for you? And going forward, what do you have on your schedule?
Answer: The last few weeks have been absolutely intense. I had a deadline for my 2017 book that was due Jan. 19th, so I had barely two weeks to shift from writing mode to book launch mode. Going forward, I’ll be working on the edits for the 2017 book, and hopefully writing more!
Question: Unhooked sounds AMAZING! How did the idea for it come about?
Answer: The short answer is that I wanted to write a pirate book, but I didn’t want to write a historical. Once I thought about rehashing Hook, to make him younger and more appealing, the rest came out of research.
Question: There have been a lot of Peter Pan retellings recently. What makes Unhooked stand out?
Answer: I think retellings in general have been pretty popular lately. Mine takes a different twist on the story, but it’s hard to explain what that is without giving away the end. But I tried to go back to the source material as much as possible, because I wanted to revive the darkness in the original book.
Question: On a similar note, why do you think Peter Pan retellings have been so popular recently?
Answer: I think as kids, the idea of going off to Neverland and running amok has a certain appeal. I think as an older teen and even as an adult it also has that same appeal—to leave reality behind and live in a fantasy world.
Question: Did you do a lot of research for Unhooked? If so, what was the weirdest/craziest/most intriguing thing you had to Google and/or learned?
Answer: I didn’t do as much for UNHOOKED as I’ve done for my other books. I read the original Peter and Wendy, and I did a lot of research about JM Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies boys when I was trying to figure out which angle I was going to take on the story. I did some reading on Fairy mythology, especially Celtic myths about the Fey. And I did some research on World War I battles, because I needed to find one where troops got caught in a crossfire.
Question: Unhooked is your third published novel. Is the publishing process easier, now that you know what to expect? Or harder?
Answer: Oh, that’s a good question. I think it’s just different. When you get your first deal everything is a combination of shiny and happy and terrifying. But once that book’s out and you have to start worrying about if you’ll ever have another book, I feel like maybe there’s more pressure.
Question: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since signing with your agent?
Answer: A good agent—one who is a real partner and loves your work—is worth her weight in gold.
Question: Best reader experience you’ve had?
Answer: I think UNHOOKED is the first book where I’ve gotten actual reader mail telling me how much they loved the story. That has been really fun.
Question: Have you had any moments where you met an author and, despite being a published author yourself now, still fangirled over him/her?
Answer: Oh goodness, yes. There was that one time when I was meeting a bunch of the 2014 debut group in New Orleans and Natalie Parker had brought her partner, which I wasn’t expecting, and I was like, “Oh, my god. You’re Tessa Gratton!” and she just kind of smiled politely, like… duh. But she was lovely. After that, I’ve been better at not making a total idiot of myself. For instance, when I met Maggie Stiefvater, I did not lick her car. So that’s a win, I think.
Question: Are you working on anything new? Can you share some details?
Answer: I am!! The book I just finished a first, very rough draft of should be my 2017 release. I pitched it as Gangs of New York with magic. Also with time travel and magicians who wear guy liner, and…I’m kind of excited about it:
And now for the giveway! One winner will receive some epic Unhooked swag!!
Rules: Giveaway is International. Once emailed, the winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email to claim their prize. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected. Must be 13 or older OR have parental permission to enter! Neither I nor the author/publicist/publisher are responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes/items
To enter, leave a comment on this post, telling me why you’re excited to read Unhooked/Why you enjoy retellings (Peter Pan or otherwise). Along with your comment, please leave your email address and/or Twitter handle so I have a way to contact you if you win! Giveaway ends February 29, 2016 at 11pm EST!
About the author
Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep, and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, 2-2-16). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.
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I’m really excited to read Unhooked. It seems like a very exciting and sophisticated take on Peter Pan. Twitter handle is @lurkykitty. Email is penny dot olson @ gmail dot com. Thanks for the chance!
I read Sweet Unrest, and I am even more excited to read Unhooked. Lisa is consistently sending words of encouragement to writers, and her work is fabulous.
I love hook form OUAT so im excited
I love love love pirates, so I’m always up for a pirate book. @gotbookcitement
I just got my copy of Unhooked and can’t wait to read it. I’ve never read a retelling of Peter Pan and I love the idea that it goes in a much different direction than usual. Can’t wait to find out what happens! @kwandrews
This sounds like such a great book. I am only familiar with Peter Pan from the Disney movie so this book should really be enlightening. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
I love fairy tale retellings! I think the TV show Once Upon a Time has given me a soft spot for Hook so I’m excited for a book where he is the good guy. I like that the author say she wanted to take the story to a darker place because I’ve always been a bit creeped out by Peter Pan!
email: sueterendy at hotmail dot com
Peter Pan is my fav! Can’t wait for a little darker version.
I love a good retelling and Peter Pan is one I’m always curious how it can be retold with twists and such :)
Why not? Unhooked sounds exciting and full of adventure, just as Peter Pan was for me growing up! Love retellings that put a new twist to a classic. Thanks!
Honestly, I love fairytale retellings. I especially love Neverland retellings, and this one has caught my eye. I’m very excited to read this and I can’t wait! A chance to read about the twist that Lisa Maxwell has put on all our beloved characters and the exquisite Neverland that we can explore has me very relatively ecstatic to get my hands on this!
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